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Washington Nationals’ lineup for 2nd of 3 with the Miami Marlins in D.C. + Edwin Jackson on joining in the fun...

Edwin Jackson takes on Marlins tonight. He talked about all the contributions the Nationals have received from players who weren’t expected to be part of the effort at the start.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Dusty Baker is going to have to make tough choices down the stretch. How does he work returning players back into the lineup once they’re back from their respective injuries? How does he keep the players who’ve filled in over the last months sharp?

Howie Kendrick has put up a .348/.385/.618 line in 27 games and 97 plate appearances with the Nationals. Will he transition into a bench role now with Jayson Werth, Michael A. Taylor, and hopefully Brian Goodwin back? Will Kendrick get spot starts in left field, at second, or wherever they can find at bats for him?

Wilmer Difo put up a .341/.390/.463 line with five doubles, three triples, and three HRs in 47 games and 186 PAs over the last two months while Trea Turner was on the DL.

Max Scherzer gave Difo some love when he talked about the contributions from the 25-year-old infielder yesterday. Will Difo come off the bench now, move into a utility role (hopefully not back in the outfield, sorry Wilmer)?

[ed.note - "I spoke/joked too soon, Difo is starting in right tonight."]

Edwin Jackson, who’s put up a 2.93 ERA and a .239/.286/.448 line against in seven starts and 43 IP since he joined the Nats’ rotation, talked this past weekend about joining the team and doing what he can to help out along with the other players who’ve come on and contributed to the cause. He was asked what it is about the character of the team that’s allowed them to enjoy success in spite of all the injuries.

“It’s a team with no give,” Jackson said. “The offense we have at any given time can strike fire and can do damage, and the opposing team knows that as well.

“It’s a great lineup, it’s a tough lineup to pitch to even with the guys we have out. I feel like everyone is stepping up and holding their own, being a part of the team and stepping up and filing in for the guys that we have out, and of course once the guys come back that are out, there will be a difference, no doubt, but at this time we can’t worry about what we don’t have, the only thing we can do is focus on the guys that we have on the field and we’re confident that they can go out and get the job done.”

As one of the players who has filled in admirably over the last few months, Jackson talked about what it’s been like to join a Nationals team that is going places.

“At the end of the day, we’re all gamers,” he said. “Everyone has come in, everyone has confidence, everyone knows what they’re capable of doing, and you know, why not join the fun?

“We haven’t been here all year,” Jackson added, “but we’ve watched the amount of fun that’s been going on over here and why not step in and help be a part of it, not only just to step in and be a role player, but step in and help win games.”

Jackson starts for the Nationals again tonight in the second game of three with the Miami Marlins in D.C., weather permitting.